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NCCSTS Case Collection


New Case Submission Guidelines

We welcome case submissions in all areas of science including the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, statistics, computer science, psychology, anthropology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and science education, among others. Your case will be reviewed first in-house and then by outside reviewers for possible inclusion in our collection. See below for how to prepare and submit a case.

If your case is accepted for outside review, we estimate it will take approximately 2-3 months from the time we send your case out for review until it is published in our collection.

Submitting your Case

Send your case by email to, noting in the subject line: “New Case Submission: Name of Your Case.” Your submission should be in the form of several, separate files, preferably in Word. These should include:

  1. The case itself (this is the case as the students would receive it in class),
  2. Your case teaching notes, and
  3. The case answer key.

AI and AI-assisted tools do not qualify for authorship under NCCSTS authorship policy. Authors who make use of AI or AI-assisted tools during the case writing process must disclose that use in the acknowledgments section at the end of the teaching notes. Please note that AI tools currently available to the public may dispense misinformation as well as inaccurate or outdated information; authors bear the responsibility for the integrity of the information and data contained in their case submissions.

Please include your name and credentials in the body of the email. First time authors must have their case published before submitting a second.

Teaching Notes

Your case must have a set of teaching notes that include the following subsections at a minimum:

  1. Introduction/Background, comprising a brief summary of the topic of the case and its importance; a short synopsis of the storyline; what, if any, prerequisite knowledge students need; what course the case was developed for and any other courses it could be used in; and a bulleted list of the case’s student learning objectives each of which starts with a verb and completes a stem like “Upon completion of this case student students should be able to...”;

  2. Classroom Management, in which you describe in detail how you actually taught this case, including what instructions students were given, what tasks they undertook, and in what order, how long each part of the case or activity takes, whether students get the entire case at once or piecemeal and what students are expected to do, any assignments that go along with the case, how you assess the students’ case work, what areas students found particularly challenging and how you helped them, etc.;

  3. Blocks of Analysis, in which you provide information about the scientific concepts, principles, issues, etc., of the case in blocks, each of which has a descriptive subheading indicating the topic; these need not be exhaustive but should ideally be written at a level of sophistication slightly higher than is expected of the students and give enough information for someone considering teaching the case to develop background knowledge in each of the case’s major content areas;

  4. References, listing the sources you consulted in developing your cases as well as recommended further reading if appropriate; do not simply provide links, but supply full bibliographic details; in-text citations should be (author, date);

  5. Images, if included, should be of high quality and created by the author; if third-party images are included, the author is responsible for securing permission for use or licensing; please contact us for questions about specific items.

Answer Keys

The answer key should repeat any questions in the case and for each provide a reasonable answer. In cases that do not include standard questions but instead require students to perform a task (draw a diagram, graph some data, write a brief essay), the key should make explicit what the task is trying to accomplish and provide guidelines for what constitutes an acceptable response and/or a sample.

Images and Third Party Material

If your case contains third-party material (e.g., images, graphs, extensive text taken verbatim that you have not created) from a previously published source or the Internet, it must either be public domain, used with permission, licensable on suitable terms (e.g., Creative Commons), or used in accordance with explicit terms of use. We will need to know where the material comes from (a complete citation, the URL for the website, etc.) so that we can verify that it can be used in your publication. Do not use textbook images in your case without permission. Figures from journals often, though not always, are difficult to obtain permission to use; they should be kept to a minimum or should be redrawn and simplified if possible. Good sources of copyright-friendly material are works under certain Creative Commons licenses or from sites with liberal reuse policies explicitly stated on their site that we can verify. Sources for this kind of material include Wikimedia Commons; Flickr also has a portion of its site at devoted to Creative Commons licensed images. Google’s Advanced Search also allows you to isolate Creative Commons licensed images: and enter keywords in the top boxes, scroll down to the bottom and set the filter for “usage rights” to “free to use, share and modify, even commercially.” Images need to be of high quality. Please contact us ahead of submission if you have questions about including a particular item.

Peer Review

All cases are first reviewed in-house and then, if they advance, by outside reviewers following a double-blind peer-review process. We use two, often three, outside reviewers with expertise in the subject area of the case and experience with the case method. Based on external reviewers' comments, we expect authors to revise and resubmit their cases, after which we make the decision as to whether to accept the case for the collection.

Transferring Copyright

If we accept your case, as a final step we will send you a copyright transfer form to sign and return to us. This form serves to formally transfer copyright for your case and teaching notes to the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the University at Buffalo. In addition, in signing this form you warrant that the case submitted is your own work and does not infringe upon anyone else’s copyright.


Once we accept your case, it will be prepared for our website. We will edit your case, mark it up, and create several PDF files, which we will send to you for final proofing. Once we make any corrections you have, we will index it, upload it to the site, and announce it on our listserv.


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